Automattic has introduced a new pricing tier for its popular blogging platform today called Business, offering professionals and small firms a new way of accessing premium themes and unlimited storage on a WordPress.com hosted website.
It also differs from the company’s VIP package, which is essentially a managing service for websites not hosted specifically on the WordPress.com server. It’s also much pricier, starting from $15,000 per year for self-hosted websites and $45,000 per year for those hosted in the cloud.
WordPress.com Business includes live support in the form of text chat during US business hours (EST), although the company says it’ll be experimenting with both text and voice chat options further down the line.
Most importantly though, it gives users access to an unlimited number of premium themes, so that they can experiment with different designs without having to worry about the individual costs normally associated with them.
For those who prefer to upload video or audio content directly to WordPress, the Business tier also includes unlimited storage, again removing the fear associated with data caps or constantly switching out the content that’s least important to you.
Automattic appears to be experimenting with different price-points to ensure that it has a chance to monetize its service at every available price point. The Pro bundle, set at $99 per year, currently offers a custom domain, the ability to upload videos in high-definition – and without ads – as well as custom fonts and colors for every theme .
All of this is included in the Business model too, which should make it a pretty attractive offering for small companies or individuals looking to differentiate themselves online.
For casual users, WordPress.com’s free blogging network is more than enough. Automattic has become a victim of its own success though, and needs to push more users at the low-end towards some of its more premium subscription packages.
The new Business tier is unlikely to convert a huge wave of paying users, but it will play a significant part in expanding and improving the company’s current range of paid tiers.